Penghu County set to launch ambitious initiative to become low-carbon island

Staff writer, with CNA

Sun, Jun 10, 2012 - Page 2

Taiwan’s Penghu County plans to launch a joint venture in July to develop energy from renewable sources and green tourism with the goal of becoming one of the world’s top 10 low-carbon islands, an official said yesterday.

Yeh Kuo-ching (葉國清), director-general of the county’s Economic Affairs Department, said the regional government plans to inject 25 percent of the capital needed for the joint venture while raising 45 percent of the funds from technology firms and the remaining 30 percent from other private-sector sources.

Yeh said the island has great sustainable power potential and that it could use solar power during the summer and wind power during the winter. The official added that energy from alternative sources would help Penghu develop its green tourism potential.

In recent years the island has seen increasing numbers of visitors, with about 665,978 visits made last year, up 40 percent compared with 2008, he added.

Penghu has the potential to generate 500 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of “green” power per year and could sell 100 million kWh of that amount to Taiwan via a sea-bed cable, he added. He said that the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Energy would subsidize the county to the tune of NT$364.9 million (US$12.17 million) to purchase solar power equipment.

Once in place, the project would cut 1,197 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year, Yeh said.